Warning: Your makeup brushes are dirtier than you think

These close-up images of brushes will make you cringe!

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / May 25 2017

We all know we should be cleaning our makeup brushes on the regular. In fact, the general consensus from experts is that we should be cleaning our tools at least twice a week to avoid the build-up of makeup that can lead to the production of breakout-causing bacteria.

The unfortunate reality is that most of us either lack the time or incentive (or both) to get scrubbing.

Well, you may finally be willing to change your priorities quick smart after seeing Reddit user, GarlicPopTart’s series of extremely close-up images of her dirty makeup brushes. “Friendly reminder to clean your brushes!” she writes in the caption. “Here’s some pictures I took of my brushes using my Mpow Macro Lens and iPhone 6.”

Powder Brush After Three Weeks Of Use

Blush Brush After Two Weeks Of Use

Foundation Brush After Five Days Of Use

It’s fair to say that the images are mildly horrifying. According to GarlicPopTart, the pictures above feature brushes with leftover powder and blush residue after about one to three weeks of use. So we can only imagine what a set of brushes that haven’t been cleaned for a longer period of time would look like close-up!

Need we remind you that makeup brushes are breeding grounds for bacteria, which when left to grow can clog pores and lead to acne. Additionally, leftover product on bristles can irritate skin as well as lead to premature ageing, as an imbalance between the skin’s ability to counteract free radicals as and when they’re produced is compromised and can lead to a loss of collagen and elasticity.

So, we (and we’re hoping all of you) are taking this as our cue to clean our makeup brushes ASAP. If you want the quickest and easiest way to go about that task, check out the Lilumia automatic brush cleaner or celebrity makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic’s simple cleansing method.

Image credit: Getty; GarlicPopTart

Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.